Baja California

Baja Beach Fest Set to Return for Weekend II in Wake of Cartel Violence

Thousands of fans are expected for the second weekend of Baja Beach Fest, which kicks off Friday with a headlining set by Anuel AA.

This aerial view shows the Baja Beach Fest music festival in Playas de Rosarito, Baja Caifornia, Mexico August 21, 2021, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Guillermo Arias / AFP via Getty Images

As Rosarito Beach and the rest of Baja California return to normalcy after a weekend of fires and blockades, music fans are preparing to travel to the region for the second weekend of the Baja Beach Fest.

On Tuesday, Mexican military members were still patrolling the streets where the unrest occurred. On Friday night, a shelter-in-place advisory was issued for U.S. government employees in the beachside state. The advisory was lifted on Sunday evening.

During a violent weekend in Baja California, several vehicles were set on fire as residents were urged to shelter in place.

Despite the acts of violence in Rosarito, authorities said over the weekend that it was safe to continue with the Beach Fest. And so, organizers of the annual music fest shouldered on, with a headlining set by Daddy Yankee closing out the three-night festival. Other performers included Anuel AA, Wisin y Yandel, Banda MS and Maluma.

"Baja Familia: We are aware of the unfortunate events that have taken place today in Tijuana and across Mexico," festival organizers tweeted out Saturday. "Safety is our number one concern when organizing an event of this size. We … have been advised that these events were isolated and that all safety measures are being taken in surrounding areas to ensure you have a safe and memorable experience."

"We do not have any kind of alert since a statement was issued last night so our visitors and tourists who are at the festival should remain calm, the area is secured and we will continue to patrol," said Aracely Brown, mayor of Rosarito over the weekend.

The mayor of Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero, mentioned in a statement that massive events were not being canceled and that the opening of businesses was still allowed.

How are cross-border travelers reacting to the weekend violence in the Baja region? NBC 7's Melissa Adan has the story.

The violence came as drug cartels staged widespread arson and shooting attacks, terrifying civilians in three main northwest cities in a bold challenge to the state.

The Mexican federal government sent at least 300 Army troops and 50 members of the National Guard to Tijuana to join another 3,000 members of the National Guard already patrolling the streets. At least 17 arrests were made. Two men, and one woman were identified as members of the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), according to government officials.

Passes to Weekend II of Baja Beach Fest are available here.

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